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10 Ways To Spend Onboard Credit

21st November 2014

Updated July 2018


There is so much included in the price of a cruise, so why is the promotion of onboard credit always so appealing to everyone?

For those of you who do not know what onboard credit is, it's a set value of credit added to your account, which you can use freely onboard. You will not need to activate it, everything will be set up before you board so it is ready to spend as you wish.

The best thing about onboard credit is that you can spend it exactly how you want, it enables you to truly treat yourself and you can perhaps use your credit on things that maybe you couldn't justify if it was coming from your pocket.



Whether you are a frequent drinker or not, a cruise is a perfect opportunity to quench your thirst with a liquid treat. Cocktail, champagne, beer, wine or a virgin drink, everyone loves to excite their taste buds with new flavours whilst on holiday.

Using your onboard credit for drinks is a great way to keep your bill to a minimum as you can forget how many drinks you are purchasing!



Speciality Dining

A cruise truly takes you on a culinary journey like nowhere else. Most ships will have every type of cuisine available, from Chinese to Mexican and buffets to premium cuisine. During a cruise, you will have the choice of both complimentary and charged dining.

Speciality restaurants are the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or treat yourself and using your onboard credit for delicious food is always a winner!



The shops onboard cruise ships of today are as extensive as the shopping centres on land and you can buy almost anything on a cruise. From handbags to jewellery, to souvenirs and clothing, it is a shopping haven…especially to those with some onboard credit!

Whether shopping for someone back home or treating yourself, you are sure to find something you 'just have to have'.


Spa Treatments

Cruise line spas are among the best in the world with luxurious areas and award-winning treatments. The extensive treatment menus have everything from massages, facials, botox and weight loss treatments.



A holiday is about taking some time for you so what better way to spend your onboard credit than a treatment you have always dreamt of?


Some would say one way to make memories more special is being able to capture them to share. A cruise makes it impossible to forget any moment as their friendly photographers will be there to snap every last smile.

As soon as you look at every picture you are going to want to purchase them all so having some onboard credit to take life-changing memories home with you is a huge bonus.



Excursions offer the ultimate way to experience the fascinating destinations you will visit during your cruise. Whether you want to relax, explore or learn, there will be a range of excursions in every port for everyone.

The demand for excursions is high and they can be pricey so using your onboard credit for this is a great idea.


Do you ever feel lucky when you are on holiday? Whether you have a professional gaming hand or you want to try your luck for the first time, cruise ship casinos are definitely a fun place to visit. Even watching other people play can be a new experience to those who have never been in a casino and the exciting atmosphere is one that cannot be found anywhere else.



Some cruise lines allow guests to use onboard credit in the casinos - be sure to check this with your specific cruise line.


Some cruise lines include the gratuities in their cruise price but for most, you have the option of paying them onboard. Gratuities are a way for you to express your thanks to the attentive crew members who will be helping you throughout your time onboard.

You can ask for your gratuities to be taken from your onboard account, therefore using your onboard credit for this can be an option if you wish.



Almost all activities onboard are complimentary, however, there are a few activities that require an extra charge such as private Flowrider lessons onboard Royal Caribbean, wine tasting or cookery classes.

A cruise is a perfect time to try something new or experience something you would not attempt any other time. Having onboard credit is a great excuse to push your adrenalin or learn something new.



If you are someone who likes to stay connected, your bill can creep quite high during a cruise. Slower internet speed and high costs can make using the internet quite daunting on a cruise. Using your onboard credit to update social media, chat with friends at home or find out the latest news can be extremely helpful.


More top tips:

10 things to do on a sea day

Top tips for embarkation

10 Things To Do On A Sea Day

31st July 2014

Updated Feb 2017


A full day at sea - some people love them and others will not even book a cruise if it has more than one sea day.

I cruised onboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas which included four full days at sea. As much as I love exploring new ports, I am more than happy to spend all day exploring the ship. For me, sea days are a great way to experience everything a ship has to offer.

Based on my cruise with Royal Caribbean, I came up with this list of ten things to do on a sea day…


Have a massage

We all want to feel special when we go on holiday and there is no better way than switching off in a tranquil room surrounded by aromatic smells, relaxing sounds and allowing a highly qualified masseuse take over. All cruise ship spas will offer an extensive range of massages including hot stones, bamboo and couples massages.

Other spa facilities include saunas, facials, pedicures, hair styling, acupuncture and nail care. Sea days are a great time to visit the spa as you can spend as long as you want in there without having to worry about activities you have booked ashore.


Go to the gym

On my twelve night cruise, I am embarrassed to say I only went to the gym once. I feel extremely guilty but there was so much going on around the ship that the gym just didn’t attract me enough. The day I did go was a sea day and it made me wish I went more as it offered a huge selection of state-of-the-art equipment.

Sea days ensure there is no excuse not to make the most of the gym. You can go in the morning, during the day or in the evening after a busy day.


What to do on a sea day: Massage


Take part in an organised activity such as trivia

Sea days are packed with activities and the cruise staff work from morning to night to ensure there is something going on at every minute of the day. From trivia, gameshows, seminars, dance lessons and art auctions, I wouldn’t believe anyone who said sea days are boring!

People go from saying “trivia is not my thing” to being the most competitive player in the game. From various themes such as general knowledge, music or TV, it is a light-hearted game that ensures laughs, fun and meeting new friends.


Play bingo

I had never played bingo in my life until my friend thought it would be a good idea to play on our cruise. Feeling slightly skeptical, I thought I would give it a go nonetheless. After only fifteen minutes, my thoughts had changed about the game and I was having more fun that I expected.

Not all cruise lines offer bingo onboard but if it is offered I would recommend it for those who want to do something different that guarantees an hour of laughing.


Visit the casino

Do you feel lucky on a cruise? I know I do. Although I am no casino expert, I love the atmosphere of the competitive vibes from all around, mixed with the clashing of chips and the occasional winning scream.

Whether you want to play on slot machines or try your hand at Black Jack or Roulette, many cruise lines boast large casinos that are a gaming heaven for everyone.


What to do on a sea day: Visit the Casino


Cocktail making class

Everytime I have a cocktail I say "I wish I could make this myself", so during my recent cruise I thought it was about time I learnt something about these delicious drinks. Taking part in the afternoon of a sea day, it was one of the highlights of my cruise.

Hosted by one of the barmen, he taught us what to mix, how to mix and what makes a good cocktail. I can’t wait to host a cocktail party at my house now to impress my friends with my cocktail making skills.


Pool games

If you are cruising around sun-drenched destinations, the pool is where you will find everyone on a sea day. Instead of spending all day beached on a sun lounger, why not take part in one of the pool games? Even if you do not know the rules, they are fun for everyone.

From water volleyball, water basketball, and water obstacle races, the sports staff will host a range of games throughout the day.


What to do on a sea day: Pool games


Go shopping

Cruise ships are home to small shopping malls with a range of boutiques from clothes, jewellery and beauty products - and the great thing is they are all duty free.

Due to the duty free prices, the shops cannot be open when the ship is docked in port, making sea days the best time to indulge in a little holiday retail therapy. Whether its time to treat yourself to a new bag, get some perfume for your wife or buy some souvenirs to take home, making some time for a little cruise shopping spree is a must.


Take a walk and explore the ship

I guarantee you will find yourself at least once during your cruise saying "I haven’t seen this part yet". There are so many venues and different parts of the ship to see that you often find you have not explored the ship properly.

Sea days are the perfect time to thoroughly explore your floating home. From the different venues, interesting outer decks and hidden locations, taking some time to delve around your ship will bring hours of intriguing exploration.


What to do on a sea day: Explore the ship



Taking time to simply relax is something too many of us ever find time for, even on holiday we find ourselves rushing around exploring and trying to fit everything in to our days. This is why sea days are the best time to let your mind and bod escape into a state of pure relaxation.

Whether you want to lie around the pool, relax with a book in the library or simply take an afternoon nap on your balcony, use a sea day to take full advantage of some me time.


Related blogs:

Can you do 100 activities onboard Allure of the Seas in one day?

Top 10 complimentary things to do onboard


By Sally Grimes

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